Kiev should put end to violence of “Right Sector” – Lavrov to Kerry by phone

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a phone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry, called on the United States to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to prevent bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine. The conversation focused on “the situation in southeastern Ukraine, where extremist militants are continuing their provocations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov emphasized that the inability and unwillingness of the Kiev authorities to put an end to violence on the part of Right Sector and other ultranationalists that has already resulted in fatalities, to stop arrests, and to release activists of the protest movements in the southeastern regions jeopardize the fulfillment of the provisions of the April 17 Geneva Statement by Russia, the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine.

The minister urged the secretary of state to put pressure on Kiev in order to prevent hotheads there from provoking a bloody conflict and make the current Ukrainian leadership to strictly comply with its commitments, which would make it possible to begin de-escalation of the situation,” the ministry said.

Lavrov “specially stressed the need for the earliest possible pan-national dialogue, including the launch of a constitutional reform with full-scale participation by all principal political forces and all regions of the country.”

Lavrov and Kerry came to an agreement to remain in contact on Ukrainian affairs, the statement said, Interfax reports.

The Russian Foreign Minister also had a talk with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In this talk, Mr. Lavrov also stressed that Ukraine’s authorities should strictly follow the Geneva agreements and by no means adhere to violence.

Both foreign ministers acknowledge the importance of realization of the mandate of OSCE’s mission in Ukraine. The aim of this mission is helping Ukraine’s authorities to stabilize the situation in the country.

US must realize responsibility for Kiev authorities’ actions – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on US partners to realize their responsibility for those they brought to power in Kiev before declaring their ultimatums to Moscow. “Before declaring us your ultimatums and demanding to do something within two or three days and otherwise threatening with sanctions, we would like to urge our American partners to fully realize their responsibility for those they have brought to power, ” Lavrov said.

The US authorities are trying to protect the government in Kiev “by turning a blind eye on the violence committed by this regime and the militants that this regime relies on,” he said.

The US argument that a huge quantity of Russian weapons was found in the area of clashes and conflicts in Ukraine is ridiculous: “There has never been any other weapon there, they all have Russian weapons there,” the minister said. “But what was shown on television quite recently, namely the U.S. weapon discovered at the location of illegal armed formations, that is something new,” the Russian foreign minister said. These weapons were held by illegal armed formations, not by the Ukrainian army forces, Lavrov said.

Russia strongly recommends US to fully realize responsibility for those it installed in power in Kiev – Lavrov

The US should take responsibility for those whom they put in power instead issuing ultimatums to Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, adding that the US should take responsibility for those whom they put in power instead issuing ultimatums to Moscow.

Russia in difficult spot amid calls to ‘intervene’ in Ukraine – Lavrov

Calls by local leaders for Moscow to intervene in the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine have put Russia in a very difficult position, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

“Attacks are continuing in Slaviansk, Mariupol, and other different places in southeastern Ukraine, as well as the attacks carried out by militants in masks, who are acting ruthlessly,” Lavrov said at a press conference.

“And, you probably hear more and more calls for Russia to save them from this lawlessness. They are putting us in a really difficult situation,” he added.

A reporter asked Lavrov a question on statements by Kiev and the West that the presence of Russian weapons in Southeastern Ukraine proves Russia’s involvement.

“This argument, I think, is just ridiculous, because there were never other weapons there. Russian weapons are everywhere in the country,” Lavrov said.

A curfew has been announced in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk after a group of unknown gunmen launched a deadly attack on a checkpoint near the city on Easter Sunday.

The leader of pro-federalization protesters, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, who has been serving as the city’s acting mayor, said the attack came in violation of the cease-fire announced ahead of Easter celebrations, and called on Russia to send peacekeepers to the region.

“A deadly militant attack on a checkpoint in Ukraine’s Slaviansk on Easter Sunday is a crime that only benefitted those who seek to violate the Geneva agreement arrived at last Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference Monday.

“The fact that a group of armed extremists appeared in Slaviansk on Easter Sunday and without any warning opened fire at unarmed people at the checkpoint is simply outrageous,” Lavrov said.

“It is a crime that is beneficial only to those who seek to violate the implementation of the Geneva agreements,” he added.

The Kiev authorities “cannot, and, maybe, do not even want to control the actions of extremists.” The Ukrainian Interior Ministry confirmed Sunday that three people, including two local citizens, were killed and three others were injured in an overnight shootout in the city.

The insignia of Right Sector was reportedly found at the scene of the attack. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and have been holding rallies since March. In response, Ukraine’s interim authorities have launched a special operation to crack down on the protests. Moscow has denounced Kiev’s actions.

It is impossible to isolate Russia – Lavrov

Attempts to isolate Russia have absolutely no prospect, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“Isolation has never led anyone to anything. Those trying to isolate in various situations various countries and various governments were in the end compelled to talk to those whom they wanted to isolate. I think this time too, attempts to isolate Russia have absolutely no prospects because it is impossible to isolate Russia from the rest of the world,” he told a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

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